Come May, and Mallika Sherawat is set to score a hat trick in a completely different set-up — Cannes Film Festival. This will be her third appearance at the glamorous French Riviera. She has earlier hit the red carpet in 2005 for The Myth and last year, for Hisss. And both times, the actor made headlines for her outfits, if not antics.
“It is, of course, very exciting for me. Who wouldn’t love to walk the red carpet at Cannes? After all, it’s one of the most respected film festivals in the world,” says Mallika. “I’m really looking forward to the event.”
The actor may be joined on the red carpet by the cast of her new Hollywood film, Politics of Love/Love, Barack. However, the actor’s past appearances at Cannes have resulted in duds for her, be it the Jackie Chan-starrer The Myth or Jennifer Lynch’s Hisss. “Making an appearance at Cannes or the Oscars sends across a message that you’ve arrived,” says filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, who has worked with Mallika in Murder (2004). “Taking a film to Cannes has no connection with its commercial status. It’s an exercise in personal PR and I don’t see anything wrong in it since it’s an age of brand equity,” he adds.
Mallika’s presence at Cannes has always made headlines. In 2005, her low-cut golden dress attracted the international media’s attention, so much so that Time Magazine called her “the next big thing”. Last year, as part of her promotions for Hisss, she posed for shutterbugs with a live python.
The actor is currently in the US, but is yet to finalise the details of her look for the red carpet event. Sources close say that she is likely to wear another scintillating dress by ace designer Marc Bouwer. She wore a Bouwer gown at the last Academy Awards. “Making a statement is easy, but finding something that can bring in an element of warmth and humanity is the trick. Every red carpet has its own flavour and demands how you can express yourself,” says Mallika.
For the time being, the actor is having a tough time picking the jewellery she will wear. Her options range from Harry Winston and Martin Katz to Diamonds by Mark Forever. As for the shoes, she will either wear Roger Vivier, Manolo Blahnik or Salvatore Ferragamo. Meanwhile, US-based film distribution company Codeblack Entertainment has recently acquired the distribution rights to Politics of Love/Love, Barack. They’re planning a July theatrical release.